Tag Archives: federal election

Green vote surge in Federal Election

While we still don’t know who will be our Prime Minister, one thing is clear – the Greens have been the big winners in this election.

Adam Bandt, Sarah Hanson-Young, Bob Brown and Richard Di Natale. Photo: AAP

Here in the seat of Melbourne, Adam Bandt won his party’s first ever lower house seat (in a general election) with a massive 13% increase in the Green primary vote (to a total of 36%) and a 10% swing from Labor to Greens two-party-preferred. Nationally the Greens gained about 11.5% of the primary vote, an increase of almost 4% from last election, by far the biggest gain for any party.

It also seems like the Greens will win 5 or 6 senate spots, meaning they may win one in every state. In Victoria Richard Di Natale has been elected to the Senate with a full quota of votes. The Greens will hold the balance of power in the Senate.

Both Labor and the Greens said that climate change was the biggest issue in the seat of Melbourne.

In The Age, losing Labor candidate Cath Bowtell said, “…clearly they [voters of Melbourne] want us to work faster on reducing carbon emissions and moving to a cleaner-energy economy.”

This result doesn’t bode well for inner-city State MPs, who are facing an election in three months. The Brumby Government will have to vastly improved its climate policies if it doesn’t want to lose seats to the Greens.

We hope this result encourages some soul-searching in the Labor Party. With both big parties offering no leadership to tackle the climate crisis, more and more people will keep turning to the Greens. We hope all parties heed the signs at this election and greatly improve their climate policies.

Yarra Climate Action Now is proud to have been a part of the Vote Climate campaign in the seat of Melbourne. Our work helped make a difference in this seat and helped the party with the best climate policies win! Well done to everyone involved.

Vote Climate

Many of us are doing what we can in our homes to cut carbon pollution and save water, and now the government must do its part.

Bush fires, floods, sea-level rises and drought — climate change is already harming us all and will get rapidly worse, unless we take urgent action.

Denial and delay are dangerous and inexcusable.

On Saturday August 21, we urge you to send a message that you want immediate and strong action on climate change.

To make your vote count for a safe climate get informed on the different policies of the parties, and pass this information on to family and friends. Below is a scorecard put together by a coalition of independent community groups, the full analysis is here (click on the scorecard to see it more clearly).

You can also check out a more comprehensive analysis looking at more issues and parties here, or the Australian Youth Climate Coalition scorecard here.

Gillard: moving Australia backwards on climate


Yesterday Julia Gillard announced some of the Labor Party’s climate policies.

Debate amongst the YCAN team has centred on whether these are the worst policies ever, or the second worst.

The Labor Party cannot even pretend to care about climate change now. These policies will see Australia’s emissions continue to rise rapidly while the impacts of climate change keep worsening.

In summary, the policy announcements are:

1. A green light for new coal-fired power stations and existing ones to keep polluting indefinitely

Twelve new coal-fired power stations on the drawing board around Australia have been given the go-ahead. Any new plants beyond these will be subject to “emissions standards”, which will only block brown coal developments, but not black coal.

Further, all new coal plants (the phrase “new coal plants” shouldn’t exist in and of itself as we should not be building any) will need to be “carbon capture and storage ready” – something that is completely meaningless.

Existing polluting infrastructure, such as Hazelwood Power Station remain untouched.

2. More inaction and delay

The “citizens assembly”, due to report in over 12 months is just an excuse for inaction, when urgent action is desperately needed. Community consensus on climate action has existed for years, and scientific consensus has existed well before that. We want action, not more talk!

3. Money from solar energy to go to buying petrol cars

Money will be taken away from the solar infrastructure program to fund rebates for car owners to purchase a new car if their car is older than 1995.

For further information see the Vote Climate website.

And for further analysis, Bernard Keane from Crikey has expressed it well in his piece:

Citizen Gillard abandons basic leadership on climate change

It’s hard to describe just how truly wretched Labor’s new climate change policy is. It makes the CPRS, its dog of an emissions trading scheme, look like a model of best practice. It is a spectacular failure of leadership.

Julia Gillard’s “citizens’ assembly” has effectively outsourced responsibility for climate policy to “ordinary Australians”, on whose “skills, capacity, decency and plain common sense” Gillard will rely to tell her about the community consensus on climate change. In effect it institutionalises what is already apparent — this is a Government controlled by focus group reactions.

Labor has been playing politics with climate change for three years and it hasn’t stopped. But whereas for most of that time it used climate change to damage the Coalition, now it is having to defend itself against the issue. It will only be with the political cover afforded by this nonsensical Assembly that the Government will take any action on a carbon price.

Rarely has so much goodwill and political capital been wasted on such an important issue.

The consensus the Government insists it needs the protection of before acting already exists. It’s not just in the opinion polls, which show time and time again that the majority of voters want action on climate change and supported the Government’s CPRS. In 2007, let’s not forget, both sides of politics told Australians they were going to introduce an ETS. The 2007 election endorsed a community consensus on the need for action.

Instead, in 2010, neither party will commit to any sort of carbon price mechanism for at least three years. Instead, they’re offering excuses as to why they don’t want to take action. We’ve done anything but move forward on climate action.

Gillard’s interim actions are little better. The new emissions standard she proposes won’t even apply to four coal-fired power stations being built or brought back on line currently. They may not apply to two more, the massive Mt Piper and Bayswater projects in NSW, which will together add 4% to national CO2-equivalent emissions when they come on line. Holding the baseline for the CPRS at 2008 levels won’t give electricity generators any more investment certainty when it remains unclear whether there will ever be an emissions trading scheme in Australia. Nor does it change the simple fact that State Governments continue to drive Australia into a coal-fired future.

Labor’s craven pandering to key outer-suburban electorates in its population and asylum seeker policies was bad enough. But abdicating executive responsibility for action on climate change is a new low in cynical politics, beyond the depths even reached by NSW Labor. Politicians are elected to lead. Deferring every controversial issue back to the electorate is a clumsy variant of leadership by polling and focus groups.

So blatant is Labor’s refusal to lead that it raises serious questions about its fitness for government. The only problem is that the alternative is an economically-illiterate party whose leader doesn’t believe in climate change at all, but who insists on wasting $3b on the most expensive possible means of addressing it.

What a choice, two major parties incapable of leadership and unfit to govern.

Federal Election Called – help make climate the key issue?

The election has been called and the circus begins.

Amongst the sea of spin and annoying catch phrases, it can be hard to find some substance – and sometimes, the best thing to do is to create it!

We need you to help with the Vote Climate campaign.

YCAN, together with several other local community groups will be running the Vote Climate campaign for the next five weeks.

This will be a non-partisan campaign, which aims to educate the public on the different climate policies of the three main parties.

We want to inform voters and encourage them to vote for action on climate change. With your help we can ensure that the climate crisis stays on the election agenda.

Can you help? We need volunteers to letterbox, attend stalls and attend pre-poll and polling day booths.

If you are interested in helping out then please fill out the web form here.

To donate to the Vote Climate campaign and fund the printing of the Vote Climate leaflets, you can direct transfer to the following account:
Account Name: Yarra Climate Action Now
BSB: 803 140
Account No. 23196790


Don’t let the polluters, deniers and delayers bury climate change in this election – sign up to volunteer for Vote Climate.